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Grey Worm: "I had no fears. I was never the biggest, never the strongest, but I was bravest always... Until I meet Missandei from the Isle of Naath. Now I have fear."
Missandei: "I do too."
— Grey Worm and Missandei on their fear of losing each other.[src]

Grey Worm and Missandei have had an increasing attraction to each other since joining the service of Daenerys Targaryen. Missandei is an expert translator that knows 19 different languages who is also a de facto aide-de-camp and advisor to Daenerys, while Grey Worm is the commander of the Unsullied legions that fight for the dragon-queen.

Background

Grey Worm and Missandei's relationship is complicated by Grey Worm's brutal training as an Unsullied: slave-soldiers and warrior-eunuchs, they are taken as babies or small boys, castrated, then put through a brutal training regime which only one out of four boys survive. The Unsullied's training regime is also meant to utterly dehumanize them so they consider themselves to be expendable, willing to fall on their swords without hesitation at the whim of their slave-masters. Not simply like other eunuchs, the Unsullied are meant to have all human emotions stripped from them.

As Grey Worm rediscovers his freedom, however, he slowly gains a sense of personhood, including growing feelings for Missandei, who sympathizes with the suffering he has endured. Missandei herself was taken in a slaver-raid when she was five years old, from her home on the island of Naath off the coast of Sothoryos. She remembers the home she lost, unlike Grey Worm who doesn't remember being taken as a baby from the Summer Islands, and they bond over the losses both endured under slavery.

History

Season 3

Grey Worm and Missandei meet for the first time when Grey Worm is introduced to Daenerys as the leader the Unsullied have chosen for themselves. Missandei explains to Daenerys the origins of Grey Worm's name and looks at him with compassion.[1]

Season 4

Missandei begins teaching Grey Worm the Common Tongue, so he can better communicate with Daenerys' allies. It is here where they start to form a connection.[2] Later in their time in Meereen, Grey Worm and some other soldiers are swimming in a nearby river, where he sees Missandei and a group of women bathing. Even though he is a eunuch, he stares at her as she bathes. She tells Daenerys about the incident, who tells her not to read anything into it, but Missandei replies that she could tell he was interested in her. After the incident, Grey Worm apologizes to Missandei, but she tells him he does not need to be sorry. He says the language lessons she gives him are precious to him. She says she doesn't remember teaching him the word precious, and he says he learned it from Jorah, implying that he has been consciously seeking out ways to better express his feelings about Missandei. She tells him how sorry she is about what happened to him, and he replies that if it had never happened then he would never have had the chance to meet her either. She says she is glad he saw her in the river, and he says he is too.[3]

Season 5

When White Rat, a member of the Unsullied is murdered in a brothel by a Son of the Harpy, Missandei asks Grey Worm why an Unsullied would visit a brothel, because all Unsullied are castrated at birth. He simply says that he doesn't know.[4] After fighting The Sons of the Harpy with Barristan Selmy, Grey Worm is injured, and Selmy is dead.[5] When Missandei comes to his bedside, Grey Worm explains how he failed Ser Barristan by letting him die, and by failing Daenerys. But then he said he feared he would die, because he would never see Missandei again. Grey Worm's words touch Missandei, and they kiss for the first time.[6]

Later in the season, after Daenerys is rescued by Drogon from the Sons of the Harpy, Missandei accompanies Grey Worm to a meeting with Tyrion, Daario and Jorah, supporting him both physically and emotionally. When Grey Worm expresses a wish to accompany Daario and Jorah on their quest to find Daenerys, Missandei is very concerned and says he is not strong enough to go anywhere, as he is still recovering from his wounds from the fight with the Sons of the Harpy. Grey Worm insists he would be strong enough, and Daario agrees he would be, but argues that he is needed even more here in Meereen as the people trust him. Missandei agrees and tells Grey Worm that only the Unsullied will be able to keep the peace and that if he goes then the city will fall into chaos. Her words help to persuade Grey Worm to stay in Meereen.[7]

Season 6

Grey Worm and Missandei work with Tyrion to help run the city of Meereen during Daenerys' absence. They challenge Tyrion over some of his choices and support each other during their conflicts with him. However, they also socialize with Tyrion on a couple of occasions, and eventually they begin to enjoy his company. The three of them exchange a few jokes, and Grey Worm and Missandei smile and look fondly at each other as they do so.[8] Following Daenerys' return to Meereen, they continue to support her, and accompany her as she sets sail for Westeros at the end of the season.[9]

Season 7

Grey Worm and Missandei arrive at Dragonstone with Daenerys, all traveling in the same boat.[10] At Dragonstone, Daenerys and her allies plan her campaign to take the Iron Throne, which includes Grey Worm leading the Unsullied in an attack on Casterly Rock. The night before Grey Worm leaves on his mission, Missandei visits him in his chambers. She asks him if he is going to say goodbye, and he says it is hard for him to say goodbye to her. She asks him why, and he says she knows why, but she is insistent that she does not, wanting him to articulate his feelings in words. He says she is his weakness, and at first she is offended, but then he explains his feelings further. He says as an Unsullied he never had any fears, he was always the bravest, until he met her, and now he understands fear, implying that he cares for her so much that the only thing he is afraid of is losing her. She says she understands that fear too. He becomes very emotional and goes forward to kiss her. Missandei undresses herself, allowing him to see her naked again as she once did before at the river in Essos, and begins to undress Grey Worm too. He hesitates when she comes to remove his trousers, because he doesn't want her to see his castration scars, but she says gently that she wants to see him, echoing their conversation after he saw her at the river. He nods and lets her remove the rest of his clothes, looking anxious as he waits for her reaction to seeing his scars for the first time. She sees them, then looks him in the eyes with tenderness, and he is relieved and happy that she does not mind. She loves him for who he is, not what he looks like. They kiss again and begin to make love.[11]

After Grey Worm leaves for his mission to Casterly Rock, Missandei expresses concern about what he and the Unsullied will be facing there.[12] Later she is worried that there has been no word from the Unsullied since then. Daenerys assures her that Grey Worm will come back to her, and Missandei says that he had better do so. Daenerys can tell something has developed between them, and asks her what happened; Missandei replies happily that many things did.[13] Grey Worm survives his mission to Casterly Rock and by the end of the season has rejoined Daenerys and her allies, including Missandei.

Season 8

Missandei and Grey Worm travel with Daenerys to Winterfell, riding on horseback side by side. They notice some of the northerners looking at them in a hostile way, and the couple exchange concerned glances with each other. After arriving at Winterfell, they attend the meeting between Daenerys, Jon Snow and the Northern Lords.[14]

As preparations for the battle continue, Grey Worm and Missandei talk in the courtyard of Winterfell. Grey Worm pledges to keep fighting for Daenerys and help her win the war, but that once the war is over, he feels there will be no place for them there. He asks Missandei what else she would like to do or where else she would like to see. Missandei replies she would like to return to her home of Naath and see the beaches. Grey Worm promises to take her back there, and says that he will make sure to protect her and her people. They smile tenderly at each other. Later, as Grey Worm is preparing to go and fight, he and Missandei kiss passionately before he leaves.[15] They both survive the Battle of Winterfell.[16]

Following the victory against the White Walkers, Daenerys and her allies begin their preparations for the battle against Cersei Lannister, taking her ships from the North to Dragonstone before the planned approach to King's Landing. Grey Worm and Missandei share a tender moment on one of the ships as they make their voyage, holding hands and smiling fondly at each other, and looking hopefully across the sea.

However, Euron Greyjoy launches a surprise attack on Daenerys's fleet of ships while they are on their voyage, and in the turmoil Grey Worm tells Missandei to go to another boat for safety. Unfortunately Missandei is then captured by Euron and his men, and taken to Cersei in King's Landing as a hostage. Eventually there is a standoff between Daenerys and her allies and Cersei and her allies at the entrance to the city. During the confrontation, Missandei is held prisoner at the top of the city wall, as Grey Worm and Daenerys watch in anguish. Tyrion and Qyburn come forward to attempt to negotiate, with Qyburn stating that Cersei will have Missandei killed then and there unless Daenerys surrenders. Tyrion tries to plead with Cersei to choose a different path, but to no avail. Cersei gives the signal to the Mountain, who decapitates Missandei and lets her body and head fall from the walls of King's Landing. Grey Worm turns away in grief and horror at the death of his love, his face and body shaking with emotion. [17]

Afterwards, Grey Worm returns to Dragonstone with Daenerys and her remaining allies, where he and Daenerys mourn the loss of Missandei. One night, Daenerys and Grey Worm have a talk about Missandei, during which she gives him the slave collar that Missandei had kept from her years as a slave. Grey Worm burns it on the fire, not wanting a reminder of the pain his love went through in her life, looking visibly grief-stricken and anguished as he does so. [18]

Following the Battle of King's Landing and the death of Daenerys at the hands of Jon Snow, Grey Worm and the Unsullied leave Westeros by ship. Grey Worm tells his companions that they will sail to the isle of Naath, keeping his promise to Missandei that he and the Unsullied would go there after the war to protect her people.[19]

Appearances together

Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch Is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars To Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter
Season Seven appearances
Dragonstone Stormborn The Queen's Justice The Spoils of War
Eastwatch Beyond the Wall The Dragon and the Wolf
Season Eight appearances
Winterfell A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms The Long Night
The Last of the Starks The Bells The Iron Throne

Quotes

Grey Worm: "The lessons you give I in Common tongue, these are precious to I."
Missandei: "To me."
Grey Worm: "To me."
Missandei: "I don't remember teaching you the word precious."
Grey Worm: "Jorah the Andal, he teaches I...he teaches me this word."
— Grey Worm expresses his appreciation to Missandei[src]
Missandei: "I'm sorry they did that to you."
Grey Worm: "Why? Why sorry?"
Missandei: "It's a terrible thing to do to a boy."
Grey Worm: "If the masters never cut me, I am never unsullied. I never stand in the Plaza of Pride when Daenerys Stormborn orders us to kill the masters. I never am chosen to lead the unsullied. I never meet Missandei from the Island of Naath. I am sorry I...for today. I am sorry."
Missandei: "Grey Worm. I'm glad you saw me."
Grey Worm: "So am I."
— Missandei and Grey Worm talk about their feelings[src]
Missandei: "Are you ashamed? You were ambushed, outnumbered. There was no way you could have known."
Grey Worm: "This is not why. Wounded in war, there is no shame for this. I am ashamed because when the knife go in and I fall to the ground, I am afraid."
Missandei: "All men fear death."
Grey Worm: "No, not death. I fear I never again see Missandei from the Island of Naath."
— Grey Worm tells Missandei his fear of never seeing her again, which moves Missandei to kiss him[src]
"Only the Unsullied can keep the peace in Meereen. If you leave, half the city will consume the other half."
―Missandei persuades Grey Worm to stay in Meereen.[src]
Grey Worm: "You are my weakness."
Missandei: "That's what I am? Your weakness?"
Grey Worm: "When Unsullied are young their masters learn their fears. One boy is scared of dogs. One boy hates high places. One is frightened of the ocean. They make the boy sleep with dogs or climb a cliff. They throw him in the water. If he learns to swim, good. If he drowns, good. Either way, strong Unsullied. But I had no fears. I was never the biggest, never the strongest, but I was bravest always."
Missandei: "I believe it."
Grey Worm: "Until I meet Missandei from the Isle of Naath. Now I have fear."
Missandei: "I do too."
— Grey Worm and Missandei declare their feelings for each other before making love for the first time.[src]
Grey Worm: "When Daenerys takes her throne there will be no place for us here. I am loyal to my queen. I will fight for her until her enemies are defeated, but when the war is over and she has won... do you want to grow old in this place? Is there nothing else you want to do, nothing else you want to see?"
Missandei: "Naath. I'd like to see the beaches again."
Grey Worm: "Then I will take you there."
Missandei: "My people are peaceful. We cannot protect ourselves."
Grey Worm: "My people are not peaceful. We will protect you."
— Grey Worm pledges to take Missandei to see Naath again.[src]
Unsullied Captain: "All the men have boarded."
Grey Worm: "Good. We sail for the isle of Naath."
— Grey Worm as he and the Unsullied set sail for Naath, keeping his promise to Missandei.[src]

Image gallery

In the books

There is no budding attraction between Grey Worm and Missandei in the books, given that the book version of Missandei is only ten years old - the same age as Arya Stark at the time. In spite of her age, she is incredibly intelligent well beyond her years and serves as a key advisor and aide to Daenerys, although in the TV series, she is shown to be reluctant to counsel her without prompting.

As for the plausibility of such a relationship, just because a eunuch does not feel sexual attraction, this does not prevent him from having human emotional attachments. In the books, some time after Daenerys captures Meereen, an Unsullied called Stalwart Shield is the target of a revenge killing by one of the old slaver families. Daenerys asks how this Unsullied was ambushed alone, given that they patrol the streets in pairs. She is told that Stalwart Shield went off on his own to a brothel, where he was ambushed. Daenerys is confused why a eunuch would visit a prostitute, and Grey Worm himself explains to her that "Even those who lack a man's parts may still have a man's heart." Stalwart Shield simply paid prostitutes to lay with him and hold him lovingly, to feel some sort of basic human affection after a lifetime of brutal debasement at the hands of the slave masters. David Benioff described how the Missandei/Grey Worm romance grew as the series progressed: “This evolved, frankly, because these two actors who were supposed to have quite small parts just impressed us. And then it became very interesting to us: What if there was some kind of attraction here, because it’s almost the ultimate Romeo and Juliet story. How is it possible for there to be a love story between a young woman and a young eunuch?”[20]

References

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